Our Favorite Outside Eats
Now that the seemingly unending cold and snow has made way for warmer temperatures and sunny skies, Happy Valley visitors and residents alike can enjoy a multitude of summer activities. After hiking Mt. Nittany, a day on the lake in Raystown or taking in one of the many fun festivals that occur over the next few months, try one of our favorite restaurants that offer an al fresco dining option, and enjoy a little more of the great outdoors … before winter hits!
One of the newer options in Bellefonte is Wine and Café on the Park, located next to Tallyrand Park and surrounded by great views of charming downtown, the park and the distant mountains. It’s a perfect choice combined with a stroll by the waterfront, or to the multitude of antique stores that call Bellefonte home. The Wine and Café on the Park menu is filled with your standard, light café items, and also appetizers perfect for wine pairing, such as cheese and cracker plates, and charcuterie plates.
If you’d rather look out over a nearby golf course than the resident Tallyrand ducks, head to Toftrees Golf Resort, where the patio provides a bit of shade and some great views. The Field Burger & Tap has a farm-to-table menu with huge portions and something for everyone. Go for the decadent, like the Liberty Burger with wagyu beef, or maybe something a little more beach-body friendly, like the Herbivore Burger, made from black beans and quinoa and topped with goat cheese, roasted peppers, charred tomatoes and more. They also have scrumptious salads, soups and sandwiches. Whatever your choice, you’ll want to end your meal on the right note, with one of The Field’s hard milkshakes, featuring Berkey Creamery ice cream!
For a summer date night, book a table for two on the patio at Gigi’s Southern Table. Also a farm-to-table favorite in town, southern comfort food is on the menu at this Happy Valley gem on West College Age. Start your dining experience with a basket of biscuits that are just as good as any you’d find in the Deep South. Other traditionally southern appetizers include deviled eggs (with a chipotle kick!), fried green tomatoes (stacked with goat cheese), grit cakes and pimento dip. Steak, seafood and handhelds fill out the rest of the menu. Locally-made Fasta pasta is the base of their pasta dishes, including the popular Coastal Pasta, with clams, local bacon, onion and creamed corn. Don’t miss the craft cocktail bar here, either. The After the Hunt is a favorite (pomegranate juice, orange liqueur and champagne), or if you like your bourbon, try the Gentleman’s Old Fashioned or the Kentucky Mule.
If you’re not quite needing a huge dinner or an evening of libations, maybe enjoy a relaxing morning with a good cup of joe on the secluded outdoor patio at Café Lemont. They have all your favorite caffeinated beverages, including teas and iced drinks. They’re also one of the few places in town where you can find gluten-free baked goods, like their tantalizing scones and brownies. Breakfast and lunch options include sandwiches and soups. Better yet, so much of their menu is made from scratch, and the organic coffee beans are roasted on site!
Be sure to head to the Nittany Lion Inn for the 2017 season of PA on the Patio, through September 8. Every Friday, they’re grilling tapas with seasonal fruits and veggies, and local meats (such as bison bratwurst, chicken and brisket), and pairing them alongside Pennsylvania microbrews. Of course, it all depends on the weather, but reservations aren’t required, so if the sun’s out and you’re wanting to kick off your weekend, head over!
On the other hand, if you’d rather create your own outdoor meal than dine out somewhere, why not spice things up a little while you’re at it? Kimchi Korean Restaurant is one of our favorite spots for Asian takeout in State College, and the perfect place to try something new. Try the sweet and spicy stir-fried rice cakes for a starter, then split a few different meals with whoever you’re with so you can try a bit of everything. The spicy chicken udong is one popular choice, and the bibimbap is a delicious bowl of sizzling goodness that has it all — warm rice, beef, veggies and a fried egg mixed with pepper paste.
Find your favorite food, try a new dish, or see the best seasonal favorites at HappyValley.com/eat!